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In this volume Julien M. Ogereau investigates the origins and development of Christianity in the Roman province of Macedonia in the first six centuries CE. Drawing from the oldest literary sources, Ogereau reconstructs the earliest history of the first Christian communities in the region and explores the legacy of the apostle Paul in the cities of Philippi, Thessalonica, and Beroea. Turning to the epigraphic and archaeological evidence, Ogereau then examines Christianity’s dissemination throughout the province and its impact on Macedonian society in late antiquity, especially on its epigraphic habits and material culture.
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This volume celebrates the scholarship of Professor Johan C. Thom by tackling various important topics relevant for the study of the New Testament, such as the intellectual environment of early Christianity, especially Greek, Latin, and early Jewish texts, New Testament apocrypha and other early Christian writings, as well as Greek grammar. The authors offer fresh insights on philosophical texts and traditions, the cultural repertoire of early Christian literature, critical editions, linguistics and interpretation, and comparative analyses of ancient writings.
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In Scribal Habits in Sixth-Century Greek Purple Codices, Elijah Hixson assesses the extent to which unique readings reveal the tendencies of the scribes who produced three luxury manuscripts of Matthew’s Gospel. The manuscripts, Codex Purpureus Petropolitanus (N 022), Codex Sinopensis (O 023) and Codex Rossanensis (Σ 042), were each copied in the sixth century from the same exemplar. Hixson compares the results of a modified singular readings method to the number of actual changes each scribe made. An edition of the lost exemplar and transcriptions of Matthew in each manuscript follow in the appendices. Of particular relevance to New Testament textual criticism is the observation that the singular readings method does not accurately reveal the habits of these three scribes.
The earliest Latin versions of the writings of the New Testament offer important insights into the oldest forms of the biblical text, the use of language in the ancient Church and the foundations from which Christian theology developed in the West.
This volume presents a collation of Old Latin evidence for the four principal Pauline Epistles (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians and Galatians). The sources comprise twenty-six Vetus Latina manuscripts, ten commentaries written between the fourth and sixth centuries and four early testimonia collections. Their text differs in many ways from the standard Vulgate version.
Created using innovative digital editing tools, this collation makes this valuable data available for the first time and is complemented by full electronic transcriptions online.
In the midst of academic debates about the utility of the term “magic” and the cultural meaning of ancient words like mageia or khesheph, this Guide to the Study of Ancient Magic seeks to advance the discussion by separating out three topics essential to the very idea of magic. The three major sections of this volume address (1) indigenous terminologies for ambiguous or illicit ritual in antiquity; (2) the ancient texts, manuals, and artifacts commonly designated “magical” or used to represent ancient magic; and (3) a series of contexts, from the written word to materiality itself, to which the term “magic” might usefully pertain.

The individual essays in this volume cover most of Mediterranean and Near Eastern antiquity, with essays by both established and emergent scholars of ancient religions.

In a burgeoning field of “magic studies” trying both to preserve and to justify critically the category itself, this volume brings new clarity and provocative insights. This will be an indispensable resource to all interested in magic in the Bible and the Ancient Near East, ancient Greece and Rome, Early Christianity and Judaism, Egypt through the Christian period, and also comparative and critical theory.

Contributors are: Magali Bailliot, Gideon Bohak, Véronique Dasen, Albert de Jong, Jacco Dieleman, Esther Eidinow, David Frankfurter, Fritz Graf, Yuval Harari, Naomi Janowitz, Sarah Iles Johnston, Roy D. Kotansky, Arpad M. Nagy, Daniel Schwemer, Joseph E. Sanzo, Jacques van der Vliet, Andrew Wilburn.
Stability and Fluidity in its Second and Third Century Greek Manuscripts
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In The Early Textual Transmission of John Lonnie D. Bell utilizes a fresh approach for assessing the character of transmission reflected in the second and third century Greek manuscripts of the Gospel of John. The textual transmission of New Testament writings in the period prior to the fourth century has been characterized by a number of scholars as error-prone, free, fluid, wild, and chaotic. This study is an inquiry into the validity of this general characterization. Since John is the most attested New Testament book among the early papyri, is the best attested in the second century, and has the highest number of papyri that share overlapping text, it serves well as a case study into the level of fluidity and stability of the New Testament text in the earliest period of transmission.
This volume offers an appreciation of the value of intertextuality—from Greek, Roman, Jewish, and biblical traditions—as related to the post-apostolic level of Christian development within the second century. Not least of these foundational pillars is the certain impact of the Second Sophistic movement during this period with its insipient influence on much of early Christian theology’s formation. The variety of these strands of inspiration created a tapestry of many diverse elements that came to shape the second-century Christian situation. Here one sees biblical texts at work, Jewish and Greek foundations at play, and interaction among patristic authors as they seek to reconcile their competing perspectives on what it meant to be “Christian” within the contemporary context.
Lectors, Manuscripts, and Sound in the Oral Delivery of John 1-4
In Public Reading in Early Christianity: Lectors, Manuscripts, and Sound in the Oral Delivery of John 1-4 Dan Nässelqvist investigates the oral delivery of New Testament writings in early Christian communities of the first two centuries C.E. He examines the role of lectors and public reading in the Greek and Roman world as well as in early Christianity. Nässelqvist introduces a method of sound analysis, which utilizes the correspondence between composition and delivery in ancient literary writings to retrieve information about oral delivery from the sound structures of the text being read aloud. Finally he applies the method of sound analysis to John 1–4 and presents the implications for our understanding of public reading and the Gospel of John.
In Proba the Prophet: The Christian Virgilian Cento of Faltonia Betitia Proba Sigrid Schottenius Cullhed offers an in-depth study and reappraisal of the Cento of Proba and its reception. Proba's poem belongs to the few extant Latin texts from Antiquity penned by a woman writer, and one of the oldest Christian Latin poems. Schottenius Cullhed surveys and challenges common preconceptions and biographical constructions of the poem's author and early readers, and examines their impact on interpretations and evaluations of the text. The author also develops and puts to use an alternative model for understanding the poem and convincingly shows how the Virgilian source texts form a complex net of internal and external biblical typologies within the Cento.
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The Jewish exegete and philosopher Philo of Alexandria has long been famous for his allegorical treatises on the Greek Bible. The present volume contains the first translation and commentary in English on his treatise De agricultura (On cultivation), which gives an elaborate allegorical interpretation of Genesis 9:20. Noah’s role as a cultivator is analysed in terms of the ethical and spiritual quest of the soul making progress towards its goal. The translation renders Philo’s baroque Greek into readable modern English. The commentary pays particular attention to the treatise’s structure, its biblical basis and its exegetical and philosophical contents. The volume will be valuable for the insights it gives into an unusual but highly influential method of biblical interpretation.